Line of fire injuries main
Line of fire avoidance
A serious injury can be sustained should a workers find themselves unintentionally body parts in the path of a moving object or an object under tension. There are several common causes to injuries sustained in this way including:
- Rushing to get a job done
- Safety equipment such as guarding or grab handles have been removed from hand held tools
- Workers not considering the potential hazards associated with a task
There is sometimes a perception that a job just must get done. In this situation the job my get rushed or corners cut, sometimes ignoring an obvious risk that would not be there if the worker simply took their time and allowed themselves to remain focussed. Not remaining focussed or rushing can also lead to dangerous assumptions about the safety of a situation for example, assuming a pipe is not under pressure, or an electrical circuit is not live could lead to very serious injury or even death.
Avoiding line of fire injuries
Looking for hazards before you start a task
A line of fire could be the path a moving object will travel meaning if you are in this path you are at risk of sustaining an injury. Avoid this risk by asking simple questions before you start a task such as:
- What objects are moving or could potentially move as they are currently under tension or pressure?
- If they were to move am I likely to be in the line of movement?
- What sudden movement or action could happen around me that could instigate an object being released or put me in the line of fire?
Eliminating or reducing a risk
Once you become aware of a line of fire hazard you can then take steps to potentially eliminate or reduce the risk of harm. The best-case scenario is to eliminate any risk completely by removing it, for example by removing a source of tensile or pneumatic pressure from an object. If that object is no longer under pressure, it cannot move with the amount of force required to cause an injury to you or others.
Use best practices to minimize risks
If an object under pressure cannot be completely eliminated the object would likely require a guard to provide a physical barrier should an object under pressure be released being careful to ensure that the barrier can sustain any force released without failing.
How to report a Health & Safety issue or concern
Freecall Australia: 1800 786 057
Freecall New Zealand: 0800 562 669 (select option 4)